Joyce: Big scalp would ease pain

Ed Joyce hopes a victory over ICC World Twenty20 champions Sri Lanka in Dublin will help Ireland’s cricketers recover from their own shock exit from the tournament.

Joyce: Big scalp would ease pain

Ireland play 50-over one-day internationals against Sri Lanka in Dublin today and on Thursday, their first matches since their stunning T20 World Cup elimination at the hands of the Netherlands in Bangladesh.

Ireland were on course to make the Super10s until the Dutch smashed a world record 19 sixes to chase down 190 in 13.5 overs to top the group and eliminate Phil Simmons’ side in the first round.

“I’d be surprised if there weren’t a few scars from that, but this is a different format of the game in as different conditions as you could get,” star batsman Joyce said.

Simmons feels a cloudy day in Clontarf could give the Irish an advantage against a Sri Lanka side captained by Angelo Mathews but without rested senior players Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga and Tillakaratne Dilshan.

“Dry but cold would be good — a case where we could use our conditions and hope we get a wicket that suits us more than them,” Simmons said.

The coach acknowledges the Irish bowling attack needs to improve if they are to record a first ODI victory on home soil against one of the top cricketing nations.

Ireland bowlers Max Sorensen, Kevin O’Brien and George Dockrell conceded 150 runs in 25 wicketless overs during Leinster Lightning’s victory over North West Warriors in the first Inter-Provincial match of the summer on Saturday, and, in international matches, the Irish batsmen have consistently outperformed their bowling counterparts over the last year.

Ireland’s bowlers reduced Pakistan to 17-4 in Clontarf last May and had England 48-4 at Malahide in September after the team had posted 230-plus targets, yet failed to complete the job.

Alex Cusack missed Leinster Lightning’s win at the Hills with an injury but the Clontarf all-rounder has recovered from a niggle and is available to face the tourists.

* The RSA Insurance ODI Series between Ireland and Sri Lanka starts today at Clontarf Cricket Club (10.45am). Tickets priced €25 are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and on the gate.

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